Pregnancy and Chiropractic
A pregnancy means a great stress on the female body, especially on the pevis and the spine.
- Increased weight
- Altered pelvic tilt / balance
- Reduced activity levels
- Loosening of the ligaments in preparation for childbirth
- Major hormone changes
Experience in Chiropractic tells us that if these stresses are left to build up, then it can lead to more difficulties during chirldbirth, not to mention pain and discomfort during pregancy itself.
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Good to Know
Important Information about Pregnancy and Birth from a Chiropractic Perspective
How your prenancy develops and the decisions you reach are strongly linked to hopw you perceive yourself in the world around you. Do you feel like you need to protect yourself from external challenges, and will resort to medical care to ensure that everything runs as smoothly as possible? This is how the medical world tends to train us to think. Alternatively do you see youself and prenancy as part of onbe big whole, where mother nature knows best, and the most beneficial things to do are those that enhance your body's functions and minimise stress? This is a vitalistic perspective and reflects how we think in the CHiropractic Lounge. Your body is a natural wonder, and is a self-healing, self-regulating organism. Health and healing comes from inside out.
The following information covers some important points on how to be more in tune with your changing body, support how it functions as much as possible, and how chiropractic can play a vital role in achieving this.
THE CHAIN REACTION A natural chirldbirth is often misunderstood, even in medical textbooks.
BIRTH POSITION OF THE MOTHER It is patently clear that lying on one's back to give birth is anything but natural. No animal does thins, and neither should it be normal for humans. The baby needs to fit through the birth canal, this means the pelvis needs to open and the sacrum to tilt. Lying on the back with full body weight compressing these structure will almost certainly prevent this from occuring and lead to difficulties with the baby fitting through. There are many other alternatives, and a good birthing centre will be able to offer the best position to suit during birth itself. It is important therefore to be aware of all the possibilities well before birth happens, so that you have been able to have a plan discussed with the attending doctor, your partner and midwife. What you choose and perhaps what becomes necessary should of course be simply the right decision for you and your baby.
QUIET AND CONFIDENT: Giving birth is obviously a very intimate and special time for the new family. We recommend that the more familiar and relaxed the environment, the less external stress and noise, then often the more smoothly the birth will progress. For this reason many chose to give birth at home, which wasafterall the norm not so long ago.
EPIDURAL ANAESTHETIC (PDA) This is the injection of anaesthic between the vertebra into the spave around your spinal cord. The intention is to numb pain, however it also numbs the ability for the mother to feel anything about what is happening. This means feedback from pushing, & when to relax is completely gone, and it also becomes essential to lie on one's back. Essentially you become disconnected from the birth. Once this step is taken, the likelihood that futher interventions are required is signifcantly increased. This may ultimately lead to a C-section, and unless an emergency, there are many negative consequences of this for the child and mother.
BREATHING IS IMPORTANT! Try to breathe in rhythm with the contractions, breathe long and deep and try to let your face totally relax. Don't try and suppress any noise you feel you need to make, but turn it into a tone to match the contractions. A long Aaaaaaaaaa is recommended.
A C-SECTION There are certainly instances when a C-Section becomes an emergency. Unfortunately in too mayn countries the plann C-Section is becoming way too common. There are significant risks and downsides to a C-section. For the mother it is major surgery, and has all the risks associated with this, along with a much longer recovery time. The connection with the newborn is often then affected since the baby is taken away while the doctors finish up the surgery on the mother.
Passage through the birth canal is now seen as incredibly important for the child's devlopment. Firstly the squeezing of the skull helps with it's form and movement, exposure to bacteria helps set up a better balance of flora in the digestive tgract of the child, and neurologically the whole process kicks off the next step of development change.
WE AIM TO MINIMISE THE CHANCE OF THIS CHAIN REACTION BEING SET OFF
There are three components to a natural birth:
Energy: The mother needs to develop from within the energy to press at the right time, with the right amount of energy, and at the best time to match contractions.
Opening of the Pelvis: The pelvis needs to open a little like a book, where the actual spine and sacrum represent the spine of the book. Full flexibility and mobility in the sacroiliac joints is then very important so that it can occur with ease and to the right extent to allow the baby's head to pass.
The Baby: If the baby has had the chance to develop without stress and for the right amount of time, then there should be very few limitations to a normal birth to take place.
WHAT CAN CHIROPRACTIC DO TO ASSIST THE PROCESS?
The Uterus is effectively a muscular sack, and all muscles are under the control of the nervous system. The nerves supplying the uterus exit in the lower mid-back from T10 - L1, and the sacral plexus between S2 - S4. Correction of misalignments at these levels often helps to normalise function and bring ease during prenancy.
The uterus is suspended as it were between the sacrum and the pubis with several ligaments. Addressing the mobility of the sacrum (Webster Technique) and tension in the 'round' ligaments is seen to improve tension and discomfort for the mother.
When the uterus itself is not subject to rotation stress from either the sacrum or the round ligaments, then it will allow for a far more relaxed positioning of the foetus.
CHIROPRACTIC RECOMMENDATIONS We recommend weekly checks during pregnancy when everything appears to be running smoothly. In the event of any concerns then other receommendations will be discussed. It is widely accepted that the more relaxed the autonomic nervous system is (not only during pregnancy) the better the entire pregancy will run. There are no know contraindications to chiropractic care during pregnancy.
IMPORTANT EXTRAS The umbilical cord should not be clamped immediately, rather left attached until such time as it no longer pulsates. There is important blood and nutrients in this blood that are now seen as vitally important for the newborn child. It also contains up to 8% of the blood volume of the child. The child should also not be taken away to be cleaned and measured, rather allowed to rest on the mothers belly. Typically withing half and hour the baby will begin to gravitate upwards looking for the breast. This time is incredibly important for bonding between mother and child, and to maximise the success of breast feeding. If it is considered important to receive Vitamin K, please use drops and not the injection.
A C-section birth, not breastfeeding, use of antibiotics, vaccines and other medication are all known to weaken the immune system of the child. We find it our duty to give you appropriate information so that you can make the best decisions for youself and your family.
The chiropractors at the Chiropractic Lounge are trained in the treatment of pregnant women and babies / children. If you have any questions, please drop us a line or call. We look forward to seeing you soon.
The ChiroLounge Team